Emily Maynard‘s season of The Bachelorette is mere weeks away. I know you have all been dutifully doing your Men of The Bachelor countdown, where each day, you pull off a photo of a former Bachelor of season’s past until you reach the pinnacle of douchey-awesomeness in the form of Bentley Williams. Or Jake Pavelka—whichever works! Also, on my countdown isKasey Kahl, who is guarding and protecting my heart with his beautiful singing and inspiring tattoos. Shhh… don’t tell Vienna!
Oh Chris Harrison…I have no doubt that you are the most moral, most ethical, most handsome host of any reality debacle, and, as such, any lawsuit against anything with which you may be remotely involved, needs to be escorted to a limo and ugly cry all the way back to the airport.
As you all have heard, there is a suit pending against the most dramatic show ever for never hiring minority applicants. Looking back over past seasons, they may actually be on to something! However, Bachelor producers are no longer staying mum about the accusations according to wetpaint.com.
Warner Horizon, the parent company of the modern day fame whore love connection, released a statement citing, “This complaint is baseless and without merit. We have had various participants of color throughout the series’ history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs.” The statement goes on to say that producers will “continue to seek out participants of color” for the franchise.
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Yesterday a class action lawsuit was filed against ABC andThe Bachelor by Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson, two Africa-American men who claim they were discriminated against at a recent Bachelor casting event. A photo of the two men is above.
“This is a case about equal opportunity,” said Cyrus Mehri, who is one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs. “It’s about putting everyone on equal footing. We’re not saying that these two men should definitely have been selected. This is saying that they should have been given the same level of consideration as white applicants.” According to the LA Times, both men say, upon their arrival at a 2011 casting call they were treated with disrespect and largely ignored while white counterparts were treated completely differently.
Nathaniel Claybrooks, a small business owner, alleges his on-camera interview was much shorter than the ones given to white applicants and he was not given the same opportunities. Christopher Johnson says after handing in his application, he was unable to proceed past the lobby into the main interview room while white applicants were ushered right through by casting officials.
Both men claim rejection has nothing to do with their suit, but an effort to change the process and bring awareness to blatant discrimination. It’s worth adding that in fifteen seasons of The Bachelor, there has never been a bachelor of a different ethnic background. Nor has there been a Bachelorette of a different ethnicity. Now I’m not saying that’s intentional on the show’s part, but it is worth investigating. Show creator Mike Fleiss joked about this in an interview, saying former Bachelorette Ashely Hebert may have been 1/16th Cherokee.
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages. “But basically, this is about the need for reform,” their lawyer explains. ABC declined to comment on the recent suit.
Discussing the suit are two former Bachelor contestants. “It is clearly not right that after 10 years of successive seasons there hasn’t been a black Bachelor or Bachelorette, especially when we have a black president,” Matt Grant, star of The Bachelor, Season 12 told RadarOnline.
“As one of the longest running reality shows on TV, The Bachelor is a national brand, a part of American pop culture and part of the make-up of the country,” Matt continued “It should definitely be more racially diverse because it is not reflecting the demographic of the nation right now.” Matt adds that during his season, London Calling, there was only one African-American woman competing to be his wife – and he claims he brought up the lack of diversity with producers!
“While I don’t think any of the producers are inherently racist,” he added, “I just think that mistakes are being made.” Matt believes the contestants are merely chosen to reflect the primary viewership. “The real reason for it I think is because most of the viewers are from the middle of the country and are predominantly white. Which leads to the moral question, ‘Should The Bachelor cast reflect the viewing demographic or the real national demographic?’” This Matt is pretty smart isn’t he? He needed television to find a wife?
“If you have more black people involved in the show then maybe more black people would watch,” said Matt added.
Also speaking out, is former Bachelor and Bachelor Padnut contestant, Elizabeth Kitt. “The cast was predominantly white,” she tells RadarOnline. “I didn’t hear any racist slurs during filming so to say the show is racist is going too far, if you throw that out there too many times it is the boy who cried wolf.”
Elizabeth seems to think the lawsuit is baseless and believes it’s simply a case of more white people applying to be on the show, a sentiment Mike Fleiss has also echoed. “I’m a little annoyed by the lawsuit, if you want to be on the show – then apply!”
[Photo Credit: LA Times]
DO THE PLAINTIFFS HAVE A POINT? IS THE BACHELOR INTENTIONALLY CASTING WHITE CONTESTANTS OR IS IT MERELY A COINCIDENCE? DOES THE BACHELOR NEED TO DIVERSIFY?
It seems the most homogeneous dating pool in America will soon get a wake-up call! Shortly after Lamar Hurdstarted a campaign to become the first black Bachelor in the franchise history, two other African-American men have decided to file a class action lawsuit against the show for discrimination!
According to TMZ, the two plaintiffs attended a casting call in a Nashville Hotel to audition to be the next Bachelor. Christopher Johnson, one of those men—who also happens to be an aspiring NFL player—claims when he arrived the producers asked him why he was there.
Apparently, that’s when the discrimination began. Christopher and another African-American applicant, Nathaniel Claybrooks, claim they were then taken to the side of the room and excluded from the normal audition process. Neither man received a call back and both believe it is because of their race!
In response, they have filed a class action lawsuit today in federal court against ABC, Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, NZK Productions and creator Mike Fleiss. More details will be coming this afternoon and Reality Tea will keep you posted on the developments.
In other news, Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson continue their campaign to convince people they are in love. Hey, getting married following The Bachelor comes with a hefty reward – lifetime infamy! And likely some monetary pay-offs as well.
According to HollywoodLife, the couple is madly in love and will be walking down the aisle sooner than we think! “Courtney and Ben are getting married! They have totally rekindled their feelings for each other on an even deeper level,” Courtney’s friend reveals. “The drama that happened after the show actually brought them closer together and they both realized that they didn’t want to lose each other. Courtney has even been looking at wedding dresses.”
Indeed, the two were spotted at Mark Zunino’s recent wedding dress fashion show – which of course totally proves this wedding is happening, like tomorrow, and not that the couple is pretending to be in love for fame and publicity as some reports have claimed.
“They sat in the front row and were holding hands the entire time,” Courtney a friend reveals to HollywoodLife. “They looked really happy and very much in love. During the show, Ben played with Courtney’s hair and she was giggling and pointing to the different wedding dresses.” Apparently, when and if she weds, Courtney will be sporting a Mark Zunino gown. Ok, then.
And finally, with Emily Maynard‘s season of The Bachelorette premiering next month, ABC has released the first glimpse of her portrait. PEOPLE got the exclusive. Emily looks stunning, of course, and is obviously holding a bunch of roses! The portrait is below!
The Bachelorette premieres May 14th at 8:30/9:30 EST on ABC.
IS THE LAWSUIT AGAINST ABC AND THE BACHELOR VALID? DOES THE SHOW DISCRIMINATE? WILL COURTNEY & BEN GET MARRIED – OR ARE THEY IN LOVE WITH PUBLICITY?
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With a new TV show called 1st Look to promote Ali Fedotowsky is making the talk show rounds to discuss the thing that made her famous – getting engaged to Roberto Martinez (dreamy, Roberto *sigh*) and subsequently breaking up with him to pursue a life in the spotlight. Hey, she has to do something after she blew getting that million dollar Facebook stock deal!
First up, Ali paid a visit to the TODAY show where she told Kathy Lee and Hoda that despite falling in love on The Bachelorette and being one of the only participants in the history of the show to do so, things just didn’t work out. Chris Harrison has a worse track record than Patti Stanger!
“Sometimes [relationships] just don’t work out,” Ali shared. “We’re both healing right now.” Ali didn’t go into too much detail, citing a wish to respect Roberto’s privacy. One thing she was willing to admit is that she isn’t ready to date anytime soon. She’s too busy famewhoring!
Next, Ali stopped by Access Hollywood Live, and discussed – guess what?! Roberto! Ali claims that while it looked all romantical on the surface, things were very different in the real world. “The way we lived our lives on a daily basis was just really different,” she revealed. “We just found ourselves being unhappy at the end of the day and neither one of us wanted that for the long term.”
“It was 100 percent mutual, both of us,” she continued. “When you try and you and try and it doesn’t work out, then it can be mutual, when you really have worked at it for a long time.” One thing Ali confessed to was that it would be very hard for her to learn Roberto had moved on and was dating someone new.
Moving on, Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson have been pedaling the love story that made them famous everywhere and despite being besieged by rumors of cheating and break-ups they appear to be going strong. Well, according to a new report the The Bachelor couple has some serious ulterior motives and their relationship is being kept alive for the money and fame!
“They’re both addicted to the limelight, and they both want to be famous,” a source tells Reality Weekly (via their print edition). “They are getting many freebies out of this ‘romance’ and that’s a hard thing to walk away from.”
While the couple looks lovey-dovey everywhere a camera be, the reality is they barely interact with each other! “Ben and Courtney showed zero chemistry together,” said an eyewitness who observed them at Night of a Billion Reality Stars. “They showed no affection all night. They never touched or engaged each other unless it was for a picture. They certainly don’t look happy.”
C’mon did anyone really expect these two to make it?
DO YOU THINK ALI AND ROBERTO’S SPLIT WAS MUTUAL? WILL YOU WATCH HER NEW SHOW? IS COURTNEY AND BEN’S RELATIONSHIP LEGIT OR A FAMEWHORE SCHEME?
It’s no secret that ABC wanted Emily Maynard to be The Bachelorette something desperate, but according to a new report, producers were so anxious to get the southern beauty to sign on they were willing to go to extremes. And tolerate some pretty diva behavior!
Many were surprised when Emily seemed to have a abrupt change of heart about finding love on TV after a first failed attempt, but according to In Touch Weekly (via their print edition), producers agreed to accommodate all of her demands in order for her to agree to the show – including moving the Bachelor house to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. And the network is reportedly paying Emily a whopping $250,000!
A source close to Emily disputes that she is getting a huge fee to appear on the show, telling RumorFix that Emily is not being paid. “None of the reports are true. None of the contestants go on the show for money – only for love.”
Even more surprising is how far the network is willing to go for Emily’s cooperation. “The producers have completely changed the format this season in order to meet Emily’s demands,” a source tells In Touch. Emily has some pretty strict demands for her potential suitors, too. She allegedly requested that producers “pre-qualify” the men to make sure she isn’t getting any losers – or any broke guys. “She wanted only the best-looking, most mannered guys,” the source reveals.
After viewing former competitor Ashley Hebert‘s season, Emily made it perfectly clear she is not accepting any Bentley Williams-esque villains. Furthermore, Emily knows what she’s looking for and the single mom is quickly sending men home! “She’s whittling it down to a handful of candidates who she will spend a lot more time with,” an insider explains. “If she doesn’t like a guy, he’s gone.” During a recent group date in Bermuda where the men were involved in a boat race, a source claims that Emily “had the producers change the teams so that her top guys were in the same boat.”
Most surprisingly, is that after Emily insisted that her six-year-old daughter Ricki would have no interaction with any of her dates, a source is reporting that Emily is keeping Ricki very involved. “She took one of the guys to watch Ricki play soccer on day one!” Not sure I believe this allegation…
Moving on, the most hated Bachelor couple ever, Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson, are still proclaiming that their love is real and a wedding is in their future! “We’re very much in love,” Courtney recently told US Weekly (via their print edition). “We’re talking about getting married maybe at the place where we had our first date in Sonoma. Ben’s open to it.”
For now the couple hasn’t moved in together, but they are going on dates and learning about each others’ lives. “I’m going to be in San Francisco a lot, and he’s going to be in LA a lot,” Courtney shares. “We’ve got a lot of trips planned.”
“They need time to have that normal relationship before saying ‘I do,’” a source asserts. “He wants to take the time to court Courtney.”
Ben adds that they don’t want to rush into things because they want their relationship to last. “We want to figure out who we are together, so we’ll have a better chance.” And putting those cheating and break-up rumors to rest, Ben assures us that he and Courtney have been spending plenty of time together. “When the show was airing, we spent a lot of time together and got to know each other really well.”
Things are continuing to go well for the couple who just returned from a romantic vacation in Puerto Vallarta. “Courtney and Ben have the same sense of humor, and their friends do too,” a friend of Ben’s tells the mag. “Everyone hangs out like they’ve known each other for years. It’s been a very comfortable combining of worlds.”
IS EMILY BEING A DIVA ON THE SET OF THE SOW? IS SHE MAKING DEMANDS OF THE PRODUCERS? DO YOU THINK BEN AND COURTNEY ARE RIGHT TO TAKE THINGS SLOWLY? WILL THEY GET MARRIED?
Emily Maynard‘s upcoming season of The Bachelorette is in full-swing. The beautiful, blonde sweetheart was spotted filming her dates all over her hometown of Charlotte, NC and spoilers are popping out everywhere about Emily’s guys. This week ABC headed to Toronto to start the first leg of the international dates and apparently things are going well for one of the most beloved Bachlorettes ever!
Despite Emily’s sweet demeanor, host Chris Harrison wants the world to know she’s not always Miss Nicey-Nice! “She’s a pistol,” Chris warnedKelly Ripa on Live with Kelly “She’s sweet until she’s not!” Emily is also, apparently, “Perfect on a stick!” Whatever that means. Well, thanks for the update Chris and here’s hoping Emily keeps any rogue bachelors in line!
Moving on, rumors are swirling thatThe Bachelor is finally ready to introduce some diversity into its dating pool. Finally. According to Entertainment Weekly, Portland-based sportscaster and philanthropist Lamar Hurd could be on his way to becoming the show’s first African-American Bachelor! Can I just say it again – it’s about freaking time!
The 28-year-old former Oregon State basketball player interviewed with ABC about potentially signing onto the show as The Bachelor. Lamar’s assistant initially convinced him to submit a video to Bachelor casting directors and he was surprised when it garnered the attention of producers.
Show creator Mike Fleiss admitted last year that the show badly needed to diversify. “We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would,” he explained.
Lamar, who is also divorced, is excited about the possibility of joining the show and has started a Twitter (@1stBlkBachelor) campaign to keep fans updated. “Let’s say I wanted to go on it, and was willing to do it, they haven’t even had a black Bachelor,” he said of joining the show.
And Lamar’s philosophy on love is simple: “It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, it’s who I’m doing it with. So if it’s someone that I’m in love with then we’re going to have a good time.” A video of Lamar talking about the show and a photo are below!
ARE YOU EXCITED FOR EMILY’S SEASON? THOUGHTS ON LAMAR HURD AS THE FIRST BLACK BACHELOR?
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In fact, the engaged duo made their first red carpet appearance last night as a couple. And speaking to UsWeekly, the two insist their love is still as strong as ever.
While Ben, 29, has been dogged by cheating reports and photos in the last few weeks, he tells UsWeekly he and Courtney, 28, are finally settling into normal life. “It’s getting close,” said Ben. “Now that the show’s over and the star’s fading . . . [it's] wonderful for us.” Courtney adds, “We’re getting there.”
The big question on everyone’s mind, of course, is if they are still planning to tie the knot. ”No date set,” admitted Courtney. “We’re engaged, dating, taking it slow. We love each other very much. It took the pressure off. “
Ben adds: “We kind of looked back at some of the other Bachelor relationships that didn’t work out and the reason for that is you have so much pressure to move in together and set a date and all this kind of stuff . . . Let’s figure out who we are together before we do any of that and take the pressure off.” Makes sense!
If the couple does ever make it down the aisle, they plan to have their wedding in “Arizona or California somewhere,” according to Ben. By the way – no Bachelor in the history of the ABC series has ever wed the woman they picked.
Moving on to BacheloretteEmily Maynard, 25, who is currently filming her upcoming season in her home state of North Carolina, as well as other exotic locations. ABC has now released Emily’s first official photo as the Bachelorette! That pic is below. Her season is expected to air during late Spring.
[Photo Credit: Daniel Tanner/ WENN.com]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BEN & COURTNEY’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU EVER SEE THEM MAKING IT DOWN THE AISLE?
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